FORTESCUE, William (1687-1749), of Buckland Filleigh, Devon.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1715-1754, ed. R. Sedgwick, 1970
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1727 - 17 Feb. 11736

Family and Education

bap. 26 June 1687, o.s. of Henry Fortescue of Buckland Filleigh by Agnes, da. of Edward Dennis of Barnstaple. educ. Barnstaple g.s.; Trinity, Oxf. 1705; M. Temple 1710; I. Temple 1714, called 1715. m. 7 July 1709, Mary, da. and coh. of Edmund Fortescue of Fallapit, Devon, 1da. suc. fa. 1691.

Offices Held

Private sec. to Sir Robert Walpole as chancellor of the Exchequer c.1727-36; K.C. 1730; attorney-gen. to Prince of Wales 1730-36; baron of the Exchequer 1736-8; justice of the common pleas 1738-41; master of the rolls 1741-d.; P.C. 19 Nov. 1741.


Fortescue, a practising barrister, was distantly related to Margaret Rolle, the daughter-in-law of Sir Robert Walpole,1 whose private secretary he became. Returned on the government interest at Newport, he voted with the Administration till he vacated his seat on being made a baron of the Exchequer in 1736. He spoke for the Government in February 1730 on the bill to prevent loans to foreign powers except with the King’s permission, and next year on the Hessians.2 The friend to whom Pope addressed his imitation of the first satire of the second book of Horace, he died 15 Dec. 1749.

Ref Volumes: 1715-1754

Author: Paula Watson


  • 1. Corresp. H. Walpole (Yale ed.), xviii. 236 n. 1.
  • 2. HMC Egmont Diary, i. 60, 126.